Hands on Literacy - Review

January 17 2012
Fitting-handsonliteracy
By Leah Delli Colli

Learning to read does not happen in one day. It involves a long process of learning over many years. The best time for children to start learning to read is when they are very young. Studies have shown that children, who learn sign language at a young age, become better readers and start reading earlier. 

Hands On Literacy by Trish Peterson offers families great tips to making a more literacy-enriched home. Every parent wants their children to be interested in books, however it is easy to make some common mistakes without knowing that your overwhelming your young child. Here is a list of some quick tips to making your home a more accessible reading environment.

Make sure books are age appropriate: Be aware of the books around your house. Read them through yourself. Just because it looks like a children’s book, it’s not always the case. Focus on pages with minimal words and lots of pictures.

Separate books from toys: Your child needs to learn books are not toys. Keep them separate from toy areas or rooms. Keeping them in their room is a good idea, making the bedroom a place to be calm and available to curl up with a good book.

Make reading a part of your daily routine:  Make it a priority to read with your child at least once a day. When starting, don’t choose long books. Keep it short and simple to keep your child engaged. If they are losing interest, end the book short.

Don’t overwhelm your child: Keep a basket in the child’s room with 5 books. One should be their favorite, and the others should be changed every couple of weeks. That way your child doesn’t become overwhelmed by too many choices and can be excited about the new arrivals!

Be a good role model: It is easy to become wrapped up in a world of technology and screens, but it’s important for us all to unplug and unwind. Your child is always watching. Be conscious of reading and writing in front of your child. If they see you enjoying a book, they’ll want to do the same. 

Peterson’s engaging book also provides detailed activities and games for specific age groups that promote literacy while incorporating sign. These activities focus on children ranges 2 through 5 years. Along with the activities are milestones that are usually met at each age group. The activities focus on meeting these milestones and advancing to more challenging ones. 

Literacy enriches children’s lives in countless ways. Reading helps all aspects of communication and opens a world of imagination for your child. Armed with Peterson’s great activities and helpful tips for shaping your home, your young child will be reading and enjoying the world of literacy in no time!

Leah Delli Colli has a Bachelor of Arts in Speech & Language Sciences from Brock University and is currently enrolled in the Communicative Disorders Assistant program at Durham College in Oshawa, Ontario. You can follow Leah on Twitter here: @LeahDC